Australian Natural Heritage Charter


2nd edition
Australian Heritage Commission in association with the Australian Committee for the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (ACIUCN)
ISBN 0 642 26420 1

About the Document

The Australian Natural Heritage Charter was first adopted in December 1996 following a two-year period of Australia-wide consultation. It was revised and updated in 2002 following the planned five-yearly review in 2001 by users and expert advisers.

The development and review of the Charter was conducted by a national steering committee made up of representatives of the Australian Committee for IUCN (World Conservation Union), the Australian Heritage Commission, Environment Australia, the Australian Local Government Association, the University of Sydney, the University of New South Wales, the Environment Institute of Australia, the Indigenous community and environmental consultants.

Purpose of the Charter

The Charter is a distillation of 'best practice' conservation principles for Australia, based on the consensus of a broad range of experts. It aims to assist everyone with an interest in natural places to establish their natural heritage values and manage them. It can be applied to a wide range of places whether terrestrial, marine or freshwater.

It can be used by organisations or individuals - landowners and managers, non-government and government organisations, decision-makers, voluntary groups, professional practitioners - anyone involved in conserving Australia's natural heritage.

It offers a framework for making sound decisions for managing and restoring natural heritage places based on the ecological processes which occur in natural systems. It also provides a process that can be used to support and implement local, state and territory, national and international policies, agreements, strategies and plans. It does not replace statutory obligations.